Former NIST Director Appointed Vice President For Research And Economic Development At MSU

— Morgan State University (MSU) President David Wilson has appointed Willie E. May, Ph.D., as the new vice president for Research and Economic Development for the university.

Dr. May comes to Morgan from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was director of major research and training initiatives for the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. Before that, he served for three years as U.S. undersecretary of commerce for standards and technology and director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as an appointee of former President Barack Obama.

Dr. May is the second vice president of Morgan’s Division of Research and Economic Development (D-RED),

replacing the former vice president Victor McCrary, Ph.D., who was appointed by President Wilson when D-RED was established, in 2012.

“Dr. May is a welcomed addition to Morgan’s staff. With the establishment of a dedicated division for University research and the State’s designation of Morgan as its Preeminent Public Urban Research University, it was imperative that we tap one of the top scientific minds available to continue our momentum and lead us in the future,” said President Wilson. “He will play a huge role in our success in meeting the goals we have set for Morgan’s research and economic development work.”

D-RED has overseen more than $154 million in awarded contracts and grants since its founding six years ago and guided Morgan to the execution of its first-ever technology transfer licensing contract this year. Dr. May’s plans as D-RED vice president include, among others, encouraging collaborative research across the schools, colleges and institutes of the University; advocating for faculty in research; promoting Morgan to corporations, foundations and government agencies as a source of return on research investments; facilitating increased international research opportunities for faculty and students; and enlisting his broad network to assist Morgan in enhancing its programs and its status as Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University.

Stella Adams Holds Book Signing

In 1950s Baltimore, the breadman, the milkman, salesmen, and creditors sold their wares and collected what was owed in person. Helena Sinclair was expecting Evan Monahan, North American Beneficial Life and Casualty Insurance Company’s top agent, to collect the May premium on the life insurance policy she had on her husband, Russell. The only problem was she did not have the money, and she was frantic. Helena was obsessed with life insurance and feared if anything happened to the love of her life – heaven forbid – she would be destitute like some of her neighbors and church members who had lost their breadwinners.

If you want to find out how “Helena Sinclair” handled her problem, you will have to pick up the newest book by Baltimore author and playwright Stella Adams. On Saturday, August 25, 2018, Adams held a book signing for her latest work, which is entitled “Beneficial Life”. Adams hosted the event at her Randallstown, Maryland home.

“The turnout was tremendous,” said Adams, whose first book “Heavy is the Rain,” was later adapted as a play. “Because they loved the first book, they also had high expectations for the second one. I try to come up with new twists people don’t think about. It has been very well-received. I thank everyone for their support.”

Event highlights included food, live entertainment featuring Charles Dockins, and Q&A. During the event, Adams read excerpts from the book.

“I am comfortable with the 1950s because that is my era,” said Adams. “I am a people-watcher. I look at the small things that affect people’s lives. I just wanted to pick those things people don’t think about that can impact their lives.”

Adams gave such examples.

“It could be a simple thing like taking a different direction to go to work and ending up in an accident. Or, it could be running into an old friend from school who has a terminal illness. In the book, Helena thinks about what might happen to her if her husband dies. Sometimes, we just aren’t expecting to run into an illness, but it’s something that could greatly impact our lives.”

The author notes that the book’s title “Beneficial Life” is derived from the North American Beneficial Life and Casualty Company, a fictitious life insurance company.

“The name of the book does play on what happens in the book,” said Adams. “The drop of blood on the cover of the book signifies there is an issue of blood.”

With Helena’s husband Russell gambling and spending a lot of time at the neighborhood bar, it was getting more difficult to pay the insurance premium. However, Beneficial Life’s Evan Monahan has come up with a solution to Helena’s problem. Reluctantly, she accepts his help. But as it turns out, he isn’t the person he presented himself to be.

“Another thing people can take away from the book is that things aren’t always as they seem.” Adams added with a smile, “You can’t judge a book by its cover. No pun intended.”

Adams is a native of Winnsboro, South Carolina and grew up in Baltimore, MD. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University, and a master’s degree from Towson State University. Professionally, she spent over 35 years in government service.

“The book illustrates that life is precarious,” she said. “You need to treasure it and your loved ones.”

Patricia Martin of the Liberty’s Lite Readers Book Club and author Odessa Rose during the event.

Ursula Battle

Patricia Martin of the Liberty’s Lite Readers Book Club and author Odessa Rose during the event.

Patricia Martin of the Liberty’s Lite Readers Book Club was among those who attended the event. The Liberty’s Lite Readers Book Club is comprised of a group of seniors age 60 and older. The group meets each month to discuss books they have read as a group. Martin said she is going to recommend Beneficial Life to the group.

“I read the book in two days,” said Martin. “I could relate to it. I am from that 1950s era. The book had a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Once I opened the book, I couldn’t close it.”

Beneficial Life” sells for $15 and is available on For more information, you can email Adams at or visit

School Gets On-Site Barbershop And Beauty Salon

As students prepare to head back to school, there is something that many believe is as essential as new clothes, backpacks and other necessities. Some youngsters don’t want to go back to school without it. That something is a fresh haircut and hairstyle. But for some students, finances prevent them from going to a barber for a cut or to a stylist to have their hair done. But thanks to a recent grant award, finances will no longer serve as a barrier for National Academy Foundation School of Baltimore (NAF).

The school was the recipient of a grant award from Rob’s Barbershop Community Foundation (RBCF). The grant award provided installation of a five-station, full-service barbershop/beauty salon onsite at the school. The barber/beauty salon will offer no-charge grooming services to students who lack access to regular hygienic care.

NAF is located at 540 North Caroline Street, on the historic Dunbar campus in east Baltimore. The Baltimore City Public School serves students in grades six to 12. NAF occupies two buildings on the campus. One building, the historic Thomas G. Hayes building, houses their middle school students. That school is referred to as NAF Prep. The other building, the historic Dunbar Middle School building, houses their high school students. The barbershop/beauty salon will be housed on the first floor of the middle school.

National Academy Foundation School of Baltimore’s barbershop/beauty salon will be housed on the first floor of the middle school.

Courtesy Photo

National Academy Foundation School of Baltimore’s barbershop/beauty salon will be housed on the first floor of the middle school.

Robert Cradle is the founder of RBCF, a full-service, non-profit barber and beauty salon that provides weekly no-charge grooming services to clients.

“The project was created when we assessed that approximately 260 students lacked access to regular grooming services,” said Cradle. “Students will now have the ability to attend school with a neat and clean appearance.”

According to Cradle, the shop will receive an operations manual, supplies, technical support from him until the end of this year, and other resources. Cradle said any agency, shelter, social service agency, or public school can apply for the grant. He is a Master Barber, and formerly owned and operated Rob’s Barbershop Shop.

“At least 23 percent of the school’s clientele live in foster or group homes, in kinship care or similar situations,” he said. “Those types of situations lend themselves to students not getting their hair groomed regularly. Stipends for foster and kinship care does not include grooming. Most of the time, grant applicants need to provide grooming services continually. It’s great when they have the space to accommodate the grooming facility. All of those things are taken into consideration when we review applications.”

Cradle estimated that costs can range as low as low as $2,500 and as high as $25,000.

“Our goal is to always give our donors the greatest impact for their gifts by creating the most cost-effective ways to make grooming services accessible to any population with barriers to regular hygienic care,” said Cradle.

The barbershop/beauty salon marked RBCF’s 12th installation of a barber/beauty shop exclusively for targeted populations lacking access to regular grooming services. The organization also provides pop-up shops, which provides barber and salon services at pre-determined locations, generally during a one-day period.

Master Barber Robert Cradle is the founder of Rob's Barbershop Community Foundation.

Courtesy Photo

Master Barber Robert Cradle is the founder of Rob’s Barbershop Community Foundation.

Cradle is the recipient of numerous awards including the Dunkin’ Donuts Community Hero Award for his outstanding work to make his community a better place to live.

Delana Penn, Library Media Specialist for NAF, wrote the grant for the school.

“The key purpose was to increase our attendance and decrease our behavior issues,” she said. “I was so excited to hear we had been awarded. It’s a great opportunity for our students. Data shows that when they don’t look good, they act out or don’t go to school.”

According to Penn, the shop will be open every Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. She said approximately nine barbers and hair stylists will rotate. She said the shop also boasts a flat screen television, DVD player, and a child chair seat. The shop, which had its grand opening on Monday, August 27, 2018, has already started providing free haircuts and hairstyles.

“The shop will also offer ‘Chair Talk Mentoring,’ in which barbers will build rapport with the students and offer good, strong advice,” said Penn. “The shop is fabulous.”

To apply for a RBCF Grant, visit

Three Steps To Help You Prepare When Retirement Is Just Around The Corner

— If looking ahead to retirement makes you a little nervous, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Americans (46 percent) who haven’t reached retirement predict that they won’t be financially comfortable once they get there, according to a Gallup survey.

For some, those potentially uncomfortable retirement years are decades away but for the Baby Boom generation, retirement has either already arrived or will in the next decade or so, prompting many Boomers to wonder whether they are prepared for their looming date with destiny.

“Many Baby Boomers measure their preparedness in terms of assets,” said Ryan Eaglin, founder and chief advisor of America’s Annuity. “They’re trying to hit a certain number or account balance. Asset accumulation is an important part of retirement planning, but it’s not the only component. There are a few other steps you need to take to make sure you’re ready to leave work behind and enjoy a stable and comfortable retirement.”

Eaglin suggests three planning steps that can help Baby Boomers or anyone else, be better prepared for retirement:

•Prepare not just one, but two budgets. Most Americans don’t use a budget, even though it’s a handy tool, especially in retirement. “It helps you see where you’re spending your money, how much money you can afford to spend and what adjustment you should make,” Eaglin said.

He recommends creating two budgets. One would be for your remaining years before retirement so you can look for ways to cut spending and save more. The other would be for after you retire.

“Think of ways to live the retirement you’ve dreamed of while also staying within you income,” Eaglin said. “It may be difficult but just the act of preparing a budget can help you get a better understanding of your financial situation.”

•Project your income. While your budget will help you understand how you are spending your money, you also need to have a good grip on what your potential retirement income will be. For most people, that’s a combination of Social Security, personal savings and possibly employer pensions. Social Security has an income estimator tool on its website, and an employer should be able to provide a pension-benefit projection.

“Your financial professional should be able to help you project how much you should be able to take from your savings each year,” Eaglin says.

Once you compare your projected income to your spending budget, he says, you’ll know whether you need to save more or rethink retirement spending. You also might want to look for ways to increase your guaranteed income, such as through an annuity, he says.

•Plan for long-term care. As much as people don’t want to hear this, the average 65-year-old has a 70 percent chance of needing long-term care in retirement, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“That means it’s very possible you or your spouse may need care either in your home or in a facility at some point,” Eaglin says. “That care can be expensive. Unfortunately, it’s usually not covered by Medicare, and it’s covered by Medicaid only after you’ve

depleted much of your assets.”

“If all this tells you that you’re behind on where you want to be with preparation and your savings, the good news is it’s never too late to get started,” Eaglin says. “You may have to adjust your plans, but with focus and discipline, you can still put yourself in a position to have a comfortable and enjoyable retirement.”

Ryan Eaglin is the founder and chief advisor at America’s Annuity. He has 14 years’ experience in the retirement and lifestyle, planning field. A life insurance, annuity and estate-planning professional, he has earned his name at the top of the list of the top one percent of advisors nationally.For more information, visit:

Eight Not-To-Miss Fall Festivals In Annapolis And Anne Arundel County

— In Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, fall means more than back to school. It means fun, fun at a whole host of old and new festivals celebrating the area’s unique culture and cuisine. Where to begin? Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County has pulled together a handy list of fall celebrations the whole family can enjoy. For a more complete listing, check out

Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day, August 25-October 21- Maryland Renaissance Festival

Back for its 42nd year, the second largest Renaissance Festival in the country immerses visitors in the culture of Revel Grove, a 16th-century English village, complete with King Henry VIII and his court. Merriment abounds as guests stroll a 24-acre site featuring more than 250 performers on ten stages. Jugglers, magicians, musicians, comedians and artists thrill audiences at every turn, while 130 craft shops, 42 food and beverage emporiums and a host of games and attractions give festivalgoers every opportunity to dress, dine and celebrate as in the courts of old. A major highlight is watching chivalrous knights bring Maryland’s official sport to life in a 3,000-seat jousting arena. 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis. 800-296-7304,

Saturday-Sunday, September 8-9

Maryland Seafood Festival

Let the flavors of the Chesapeake Bay tingle your taste buds during a weekend full of delicious seafood dishes, interactive cooking demonstrations, exciting competitions, kids’ activities and more. Come prepared to identify your favorite crab soup during the 51st annual event’s ever-popular crab soup cookoff. A host of local craft beers and wines will help ensure you end up with perfect pairings – all on the beautiful shores of the Chesapeake Bay! Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sandy Point State Park, 1100 East College Parkway, Annapolis. 410-353-9237,

Wednesday-Sunday, September 12-16

Anne Arundel County Fair

Experience the ‘good old days’ all over again at the 66th annual Anne Arundel County Fair! Learn secrets of the trade from 4H Club members. Master the art of hog calling. Cheer on your favorite sow in the pig races. From camel rides, amusement rides and interactive car racing, to homemade wines, home-brewed beers and wood carving demonstrations, the Anne Arundel County Fair is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to celebrate the county’s rich agricultural heritage. Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, 1450 Generals Highway, Crownsville. 410-923-3400,

Saturday, September 15

Amps and Ales Craft Beer and Music Festival

The popular Amps and Ales Craft Beer and Music Festival is back for a second year at a new location – the Arundel Mills Entertainment District. The event features unlimited samples of more than 40 craft beers from 14 area breweries, including DuClaw, Flying Dog, Heavy Seas, Jailbreak and Monument City. New this year, wine lovers can enjoy tastings in Linganore Winecellars’ Wine Garden. On the music scene, Kanye Twitty, Jah Works and Black Alley will perform live throughout the day. In addition to getting their music fix, concertgoers will have an opportunity to get their fill of delicious eats served by ten popular food trucks, including Mother Shucker’s P.N.B. Seafood, Tiny Brick Oven, Baltimore Crab Cake Company and Anegada Delights. Individuals who love a challenge will be invited to help break the record for the “World’s Largest Flip Cup Game.” Presented by Symmetry Agency, Humdinger Productions, Live! Casino & Hotel and Arundel Mills Mall. 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Arundel Mills Cinemark parking lot near the north entrance of Live! Casino and Hotel, 7002 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover. 443-292-4064,

Saturdays and Sundays, September 22-October 28

Greenstreet Gardens Fall Festival

Experience family fun on the farm! Get lost in a six-acre corn maze, tackle the underground slide and explore the new woodlands. Hop aboard the cow train and enjoy the beauty of a hay ride through the fall countryside. Jump on a pillow and into the corn box. Get your face and hair painted, check out the tire tower, and more. 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Greenstreet Gardens, 391 West Bay Front Road, Lothian. 410-867-9500, ext. 208,

Saturday, September 29

Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival

The rich heritage of Kunta Kinte comes to life in a family-friendly cultural festival celebrating the history and heritage of individuals of African-American, African and Caribbean descent. Featuring live music and dance as well as ethnic foods and wares, the 29th annual event focuses on the life and times of Kunta Kinte, a Gambian slave whose story is captured on the pages of author Alex Haley’s book, Roots: Saga of an American Family. Sponsored by Kunta Kinte Celebrations. 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Susan Campbell Park, City Dock, Annapolis. 240-801-5543,

Sunday, September 30

Annapolis Italian Festival

The fifth annual event honors Santa Madre Cabrini (Frances Xavier Cabrini), an Italian-American religious sister who helped Italian immigrants settle in the United States. Enjoy delicious Italian food and desserts, “exotic” Italian cars, ‘how to’ demonstrations, continuous music and a host of shopping opportunities. Parking is free. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sons & Daughters of Italy Lodge 2225, 620 Ridgely Avenue, Annapolis.,

Sunday, October 21

16th Annual Oyster Festival

Enjoy food, live music by local artists, unique crafts, face painting and demonstrations highlighting the vital role oysters play in maintaining the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Seafood lovers are invited to feast on raw and fried oysters, oyster stew, fried oyster roll sushi, cream of crab soup, Maryland crab soup, and much more. Hamburgers, hotdogs and homemade desserts will also be available. 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Captain Avery Museum, 1418 East West Shady Side Road, Shady Side. Call 410-867-4486.

Fall Into A Fitness Routine

Family Features

Fall Into A Fitness Routine

(Family Features) Fall is notorious for comfort foods like pumpkin spice lattes and game day nachos. Combine these tempting seasonal staples with darker, shorter days and it can be hard to maintain an active mindset. Despite the enticement to indulge, you can keep your active lifestyle going or even kick off a new fitness regime.

This year, take advantage of the winds of change when the seasons switch and commit to smart habits for a healthy fall.

Dress for success. As the temperatures drop, you may be tempted to bundle up before heading outdoors to exercise, and for your warm-up and cool-down period, that’s not a bad idea. However, while you’re in the midst of your workout, it’s easy to get overheated. Wear layers that you can shed as you begin to sweat and consider moisture-wicking materials that can prevent sweaty clothes from getting cold in the breeze.

Stay hydrated. You may not feel as thirsty when you exercise in cooler weather, but it’s just as important to keep your body well hydrated. When you sweat, you lose more than just water. An option like Propel Electrolyte Water helps you replace what’s lost in sweat through its key electrolyte – sodium – and supports hydration by stimulating thirst and aiding in fluid balance. With the same level of electrolytes as Gatorade, zero calories and no sugar, it can be a perfect choice to support your active lifestyle. Learn more at

Opt for early workouts. When dark comes early, it can trick your mind into thinking it’s time to wind down for the night. Avoid that motivation pitfall by planning your workout earlier in the day, such as first thing in the morning or during your lunch break. If early mornings are daunting, remember that it won’t take long to shift your sleep schedule and early exercise is a caffeine-free way to put some energy into your day.

Find exercises you enjoy. Forcing yourself through exercises you despise will only backfire in the long run. If you’re not a runner, look for other ways to get your cardio pumping. Interval walking with varied paces and elevation can be an effective alternative or look at ideas like kickboxing or aerobics that you can have fun with while working up a sweat.

Indulge in moderation. Virtually every expert agrees that an occasional indulgence is perfectly acceptable, but use caution when the fall goodies start tempting. Those warm, rich desserts and drinks are filled with empty calories that can make all your hard work go to waste.

Set realistic goals. Having a long-term goal is a good idea, but be sure to set attainable expectations for yourself, including some milestones you can celebrate along the way to keep your motivation strong. Be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to fitness with your other life demands so you can set your goals accordingly.

Don’t skimp on skin care. The sun may not be as hot, but if you’re exercising outdoors, you’re still at risk for sunburn. Protect any exposed skin with sunscreen before working out.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images


John McCain, senator and former presidential candidate, dies at 81

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John McCain, senator and former presidential candidate, dies at 81

25 AUG 18 20:36 ET

By Stephen Collinson, CNN

    (CNN) — Whenever America was in a fight during his long lifetime, John McCain was in the thick of it.

McCain, who has died at the age of 81, was a naval bomber pilot, prisoner of war, conservative maverick, giant of the Senate, twice-defeated presidential candidate and an abrasive American hero with a twinkle in his eye.

The Arizonan warrior politician, who survived plane crashes, several bouts of skin cancer and brushes with political oblivion, often seemed to be perpetually waging a race against time and his own mortality while striving to ensure that his five-and-a-half years as a Vietnam prisoner of war did not stand as the defining experience of his life.

He spent his last few months out of the public eye in his adopted home state of Arizona, reflecting on the meaning of his life and accepting visits from a stream of friends and old political combatants.

In a memoir published in May, McCain wrote that he hated to leave the world, but had no complaints.

“It’s been quite a ride. I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make peace,” McCain wrote. “I’ve lived very well and I’ve been deprived of all comforts. I’ve been as lonely as a person can be and I’ve enjoyed the company of heroes. I’ve suffered the deepest despair and experienced the highest exultation.

“I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times.”

McCain had not been in Washington since December, leaving a vacuum in the corridors of the Senate and the television news studios he roamed for decades.

In recent months, he was not completely quiet, however, blasting President Donald Trump in a series of tweets and statements that showed that while he was ailing he had lost none of his appetite for the political fight.

The Arizona Senator repeatedly made clear that he saw Trump and his America First ideology as a departure from the values and traditions of global leadership that he saw epitomized in the United States.

CNN reported in May, that the McCains did not want Trump at his funeral. Former rivals and Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush had been asked to give eulogies, people close to both former presidents and a source close to the senator confirmed to CNN.

McCain’s two losing presidential campaigns meant he fell short of the ultimate political prize, one his story once seemed to promise after he came home from Vietnam and caught the political bug. In the end, he became a scourge of presidents rather than President himself.

At the time of his death, he was largely an anomaly in his own party — as one of the few Republicans willing to criticize Trump and a believer in the idealized “shining city on a hill” brand of conservatism exemplified by his hero Ronald Reagan that has been dislodged by the nativist and polarizing instincts of the current President. He was also a throwback to an earlier era when political leaders, without betraying their own ideology, were willing on occasion to cross partisan lines.

In a Washington career that spanned 40 years, first as a Navy Senate liaison, then as a member of the House and finally as the occupant of the Senate seat he took over from Barry Goldwater, McCain was a conservative and a foreign policy hawk. But he was not always a reliable Republican vote, and sometimes in a career that stretched into a sixth Senate term, he confounded party leaders with his maverick stands. He defied party orthodoxy to embrace campaign finance reform, and excoriated President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, for not taking enough troops to Iraq.

After Obama ended McCain’s second White House race in 2008, the senator blasted the new President’s troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, causing critics to carp that he had not yet reconciled the bitterness he felt in defeat. McCain had supported the invasion of Iraq carried out by the Bush administration in 2003, but admitted in his memoir “The Restless Wave” that the rationale, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was wrong.

“The war, with its cost in lives and treasure and security, can’t be judged as anything other than a mistake, a very serious one, and I have to accept my share of the blame for it,” he wrote.

More recently, as death approached, he became a strident critic of Trump, who had once said he didn’t consider the Arizona senator a war hero because he had been captured.

McCain questioned why Trump was solicitous of Vladimir Putin, whom he regarded as an unreformed KGB apparatchik.

In one of his final public acts, he blasted Trump’s cozy summit with the Russian President in July, blasting it as “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

“The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake,” he said in a statement.

In July 2017, McCain returned from brain surgery to the Senate floor to lambaste “bombastic loudmouths” on the television, radio and internet and plead for a return to a more civilized political age, when compromise and regular order forged bipartisan solutions.

Then, in September, in a poignant speech that seemed designed to echo down the ages after he was gone, McCain reminded his colleagues they were a check on executive power: “We are not the President’s subordinates,” he said. “We are his equals.”

In a final act of defiant independence, McCain, with a dramatic thumbs-down gesture on the Senate floor in September, cast the vote that scuttled the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, causing fury within his party — a move that prompted Trump, to the fury of McCain’s family to repeatedly single him out in campaign rallies.

When the President signed McCain’s last legislative triumph in August, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act, he did not even mention the Arizona senator.

‘I wasn’t my own man anymore; I was my country’s’

John Sidney McCain III, the son and grandson of Navy admirals, entered the world on August 29, 1936, in the Panama Canal Zone, a birthplace that years later would cause a brief campaign kerfuffle over whether he was a natural born citizen and thus eligible to be elected president.

His habit of insubordination despite his military pedigree emerged at the Naval Academy, where he graduated fifth from the bottom of his class.

“My superiors didn’t hold me in very high esteem in those days. Their disapproval was measured in the hundreds of miles of extra duty I marched in my time here,” McCain told graduates at Annapolis in October of last year.

By 1967, McCain was in the Pacific and escaped death in a massive fire aboard the USS Forrestal aircraft carrier. Months later, he was shot down in his Skyhawk jet over North Vietnam and parachuted into a lake near Hanoi, breaking both arms and a leg, and was captured by communist soldiers. In captivity, McCain was tortured and beaten, an experience that left him with lifelong injuries, including severely restricted movement of his arms. He kept himself sane by tapping on a wall to communicate with a fellow prisoner in a neighboring cell. Later, he refused the offer of a preferential release, made because his father was an admiral, until his comrades could also come home, eventually returning in 1973 to a nation politically torn by the war.

His period in captivity set the course of his life.

“I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s,” McCain said in his 2008 Republican National Convention speech.

“I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again; I wasn’t my own man anymore; I was my country’s.”

After turning to politics, McCain served in the House from 1983, won an Arizona US Senate seat in 1986 and established himself as a down-the-line conservative in the age of Ronald Reagan. But his political career almost fizzled before it began when he was among the Keating Five group of senators accused of interfering with regulators in a campaign finance case. He was cleared of wrongdoing, but the Senate Ethics Committee reprimanded him for poor judgment, an experience that led to him becoming a pioneer of campaign finance reform.

He didn’t forget his time in Vietnam.

In an act of reconciliation, McCain joined Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, a fellow decorated Vietnam War veteran, to help end the US trade embargo on its former southeast Asian enemy in a process that led to the eventual reopening of diplomatic relations.

By 2000, McCain set his sights on the White House and ran as a maverick Republican, holding court for hours in candid back-and-forth sessions with reporters on his campaign bus, dubbed the “Straight Talk Express.” In years to come, he would joke that his adoring press pack was his “base.”

After skipping Iowa over his long opposition to ethanol subsidies, McCain forged a victory over establishment favorite and then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush in New Hampshire after a string of town hall meetings with voters.

But his effort hit a brick wall in South Carolina, where the campaign turned negative and McCain’s independent streak hurt him in a state with more core conservatives and fewer independents. Bush got back on track with a primary win that set him on the road to the nomination.

The maverick of the Senate

Back in the Senate, McCain heard the call of war again, as American foreign policy was transformed after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, and he became a forceful proponent of the US use of force overseas. He backed US interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. When Americans tired of war, McCain warned that more troops were needed, demanding a surge in forces that Bush later adopted.

When it appeared that his hawkish views were at odds with the electorate and could damage his nascent 2008 presidential bid, McCain answered: “I would rather lose a campaign than a war.”

But, influenced by his experience of torture in Vietnam, McCain was a forceful critic of the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA on terror suspects, believing they were contrary to American values and damaged the US image abroad.

It was a typical example of the Arizona senator adopting a position that appeared antithetical to his political interests or ran counter to the perceived wisdom of his party.

After the Keating Five scandal, he joined a crusade with Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin to introduce new restrictions on “soft” and corporate money in political campaigns.

Later, McCain teamed up with his great friend, late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy on a bill that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The measure failed, however, over building grassroots antipathy to such a move in the GOP, which would later play a major role in the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.

McCain set his sights on the White House again during Bush’s second term. By 2007, his campaign was all but broke. But he fired up the Straight Talk Express again and pulled off another famous comeback, barnstorming to victory once more in the New Hampshire primary.

This time, he also won South Carolina, and beat a fading Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani in Florida before effectively clinching the nomination with a clutch of wins on Super Tuesday.

That November, McCain came up against the historic appeal of a much younger and more eloquent rival, Obama. Mocking the Illinois senator in ads as “the biggest celebrity in the world,” McCain questioned whether his popular foe was ready to lead.

Seeking to rebrand himself in a change election, McCain stunned the political world by picking little-known Sarah Palin as his running mate. The Alaska governor delivered a spellbinding convention speech, and for several weeks it seemed as if McCain’s gamble worked.

But a series of gaffes turned Palin into a figure of ridicule and undercut McCain’s contention that his ticket, and not Obama’s, was best qualified to lead in a dangerous world. McCain, however, would not say that he regretted picking Palin.

But in his new memoir, “The Restless Wave,” and in a separate documentary, McCain said he wished he had ignored the advice of his advisers and listened to his gut and chosen Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, a Democrat-turned-independent, calling it “another mistake that I made.”

But McCain also rose above the ugliness of the campaign. On one occasion, he cut off a supporter at a town hall event who said she could not trust Obama because she thought he was an Arab, amid conspiracy theories suggesting that the Democrat had not been not born in America.

“No ma’am, he’s a decent family man, citizen, who I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about,” McCain said.

He dealt with his defeat by throwing himself back into life in the Senate. In later years he described how it felt to lose, telling anyone who asked, “After I lost … I slept like a baby — sleep two hours, wake up and cry.”

But his relationship with Obama was tense, with the President snubbing his former foe in a health care summit in 2010 by telling him “the election’s over.”

The Arizona senator emerged as a fierce critic of Obama’s worldview, prompting Democrats to complain that McCain was the embodiment of a Republican reflex to respond to every global problem with military force, which had led America into misadventures like the war in Iraq.

McCain’s robust foreign policy views were reflected on the walls of his Senate conference room, which featured letters and photos from the likes of Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, leaders who didn’t suffer critics gladly.

Still, McCain was also a throwback, enjoying friendships with rivals across the political aisle, and indulging in the back-slapping bonhomie of the Senate, where he invariably held court to a crowd between votes.

Sometimes things got testy with his Democratic pals, including when he confronted Hillary Clinton and fellow Vietnam War veteran Kerry during hearings of the Senate Armed Services Committee while they served as secretaries of state under Obama.

‘He served his country … and, I hope we could add, honorably’

The Republicans’ recapture of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections gave McCain a chance to rewrite the final chapter of his career.

He at last took the gavel of the Armed Services Committee, an assignment he had long coveted. His prominent position was seen as one reason he ran for re-election in 2016.

But he knew his time was limited.

“Every single day,” McCain told The New York Times in 2015, “is a day less that I am going to be able to serve in the Senate.”

Still, despite saying he was “older than dirt,” McCain made few concessions to his age. Even after turning 80, he maintained a punishing schedule of world travel, conferring with top leaders and heading to war zones in trips that left his younger congressional colleagues exhausted.

He would blitz Sunday talk shows, direct from Arizona in the dawn hours. When Trump was elected, McCain took it upon himself to reassure world leaders, visiting multiple countries in the first six months of 2017 before his diagnosis.

His sidekick, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, told CNN the hectic pace had taken a toll.

“You know he just wore himself out traveling all around the world,” Graham said.

McCain, who was divorced from his first wife, Carol, in 1980, is survived by his wife, Cindy, and seven children, including three sons who continued the family tradition of serving in the armed forces and a daughter, Meghan, who is a presenter on ABC’s “The View.” His mother, Roberta, aged 106, is also still living.

For his military service, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

He faced his final diagnosis with characteristic courage, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that “every life has to end one way or another.”

Asked how he wanted to be remembered, McCain said: “He served his country, and not always right — made a lot of mistakes, made a lot of errors — but served his country, and, I hope we could add, honorably.”

McCain, who will be remembered as much for his combative nature as his political achievements, summed up the meaning of a life forged in the example of his political hero Theodore Roosevelt when he stood before the flag-draped coffin of his friend and foe, Sen. Kennedy, in 2009, his late colleague from Massachusetts, who died from the same form of brain cancer that eventually killed McCain.

“Ted and I shared the sentiment that a fight not joined was a fight not enjoyed.”

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Homeowners’ And Renters’ Tax Credit Applications Due in Two Weeks

The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) is urging Marylanders to consider whether they may be eligible to receive a homeowners’ or renters’ property tax credit and to submit an annual application before the September 4, 2018 deadline.

Combined, these two tax credit programs helped more than 55,000 Marylanders save more than $65 million in taxes in 2017. SDAT has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Benefits Data Trust (BDT) to promote these tax credits and help low-income homeowners’ and renters’ complete their applications.

“Every year, our Department contacts more than one hundred thousand low-income Marylanders who may be eligible for tax relief, and we remain committed to finding innovative and effective ways to encourage them to apply,” said SDAT Director Michael Higgs. “We are excited about our new partnership with BDT, which will make it even easier for individuals and families in-need to find and apply for the homeowners’ and renters’ tax credits.”

The Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program provides tax relief for eligible homeowners by setting a limit on the amount of property taxes owed based on their income. If a resident has already paid their property taxes and applies before September 1, any tax credit that the homeowner may be eligible for will be refunded by their county finance office. The Renters’ Property Tax Credit Program similarly provides tax relief for eligible renters who pay high monthly rent relative to their total income. This credit is issued in the form of a direct check payment of up to $1,000 a year.

To determine whether you are eligible to receive a tax credit, you may visit the links above or call 410-767-4433 or 1-800-944-7403 (toll free within Maryland). To receive an application, email: or call 410-767-4238.

In 2017, approximately 47,000 homeowners received an average of $1,339 in tax relief, while more than 8,800 renters received an average of $402 in tax relief. These two tax credit programs alone saved Maryland taxpayers more than $65 million last year. Homeowners may also be eligible to receive the Homestead Tax Credit to limit taxable assessment increases on their principal residence. Many counties and municipalities also provide supplemental homeowners’ credits, which provide additional tax relief. If a resident is approved to receive the state homeowners’ credit, they will automatically receive any local supplemental home- owners’ credit for which they are eligible.

SDAT has entered into a partnership with BDT, which is a national non-profit committed to transforming how families and individuals in-need access essential benefits and services in Maryland through the Maryland Benefits Center. Multi-lingual outreach specialists will assist individuals during the entire application process for the homeowners’ and renters’ tax credits.

They will also immediately connect applicants with numerous other state, local, and community programs available to ensure they are able to meet their basic needs.

Additionally, SDAT recently conducted a tax credit awareness campaign to educate Maryland homeowners and renters about the availability of these tax credits. Over 77,000 postcards were mailed to low-income homeowners who may be eligible to receive a tax credit, but have not yet submitted an application.

How To Preserve The Miracle Of Life For More American Families

Few occasions are more joyous than the birth of a child. But for scores of families, the arrival of a newborn can also augur heartbreak.

Each day, nearly 100 U.S. babies are born with congenital heart defects. Many will not make it to their first birthday. Fortunately, several breakthrough technologies have emerged in recent years that could save many of these babies. It’s time we put them to more widespread use.

Congenital heart conditions afflict about 40,000 babies— nearly one percent of births— annually. These defects can range from manageable to fatal: a valve that doesn’t fully close; abnormal connections of veins and arteries; even a hole inside the heart.

Some heart defects can be treated with medicine; others require surgery. But too often, current technologies are insufficient for infants.

Medical devices, including those for the heart, are often designed for adults. That’s where the greatest demand is. So that’s where companies tend to focus their research, development, and production efforts.

However, using adult-sized products in children can be dangerous. Forcing an adult-sized valve into a baby’s tiny heart may ward off immediate death and give the child a few more months of life. But complications are common. For instance, an adult-sized valve can impede the flow of blood from the baby’s lungs or put pressure on the electrical circuitry of a tiny heart, resulting in the need for a pacemaker. Attempts to treat infants with adult-sized devices may be well intentioned, but the heart defect is likely to win out in the end.

As a cardiac surgeon, I’ve unfortunately seen that happen too often. I remember the case of an infant girl from New York City who was born with severe narrowing of her heart’s mitral valve. When she was nine months old, she received a replacement adult-sized valve. But six months after her procedure, the replacement failed, causing her valve to narrow and restrict blood flow. Doctors relieved the obstruction temporarily. But eventually, her heart became too weak, and she passed away.

Thankfully, scientists and companies are developing new ways to meet the needs of our smallest, most vulnerable patients. Researchers at the University of Maryland, for example, are testing the ability of adult stem cells to repair damaged infant heart tissue. A team at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota is pioneering a procedure that uses umbilical cord blood to strengthen infant heart muscles.

And just this year, Abbott, the company I work for, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a new heart valve for infants. At just 15 millimeters, it’s the smallest mechanical heart valve in the world.

This valve has already helped save the lives of numerous infants. One was a baby from Chicago who was born with a hole in her heart. At six months, her mitral valve started leaking following surgery to repair the hole. She went into heart failure. She was held in the ICU but she couldn’t tolerate food and wasn’t gaining weight. She received the small Abbott valve just in time — and is now thriving.

Today, we can fix many previously incurable heart defects thanks to a new crop of medical innovations designed specifically for our smallest patients. It’s up to the entire medical community to make sure that newborns who could benefit from these life-changing technologies receive them.

Dan Gutfinger is a medical director for the global health care company Abbott. (For U.S. Important Safety Information on the Masters HP Series, visit

KIPP Baltimore Graduate Awarded $10,000 Scholarship

Latron Fleet, a graduate of KIPP Baltimore has been awarded a $10,000-per-year scholarship to help pay for his education at Morehouse College. The scholarship was made possible through a $600,000 United Negro College Fund (UNCF) scholarship program launched in partnership with Kevin Hart’s Help From The Hart Charity and KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Public Schools.

The $600,000 scholarship program will provide funding to support KIPP students from eight different cities who are attending 11 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Latron and the other students attended a scholarship program in Los Angeles, California, on Monday, August 6, 2018. During the program, they were presented with their scholarships by none other than actor and comedian Kevin Hart himself.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Latron. “I have always been a fan of Kevin Hart. When he walked in, we were all shocked and overjoyed. It was a surprise, because no one told us he would be there. I got to meet him for the first time.”

Hart made a $100,000 scholarship gift in 2015 through UNCF to four deserving college students. His latest donation is a continuation of his efforts to help students earn a college degree.

“Education and knowledge are powerful,” said Hart. “I just wanted to do my part in providing opportunities for our future leaders, especially from my Philly hometown, and show support for HBCUs. This is just the beginning; trust me when I tell you there are a lot more kids who want to go to college who don’t have the money to make it happen.”

UNCF is the largest provider of college scholarships for students of color in the United States, awarding more than $100 million in college scholarships annually to deserving students. Latron and the other scholarship recipients were selected based on their academic and personal accomplishments. They may also receive substantive renewable awards based on need.

Latron is a 2018 graduate of St. Paul’s School, and will attend Morehouse College in the fall. He will receive $10,000 each of the four years he is at Morehouse.

“This scholarship eases the stress on my family”, he said. “I have a brother and two sisters under me. My brother is in high school and preparing for college himself. By the time he reaches college, my family would still be paying for both his education and mines. This scholarship eases that financial burden.”

KIPP is a national network of 224 public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. KIPP Baltimore is located at 4701 Greenspring Avenue in Baltimore.

“KIPP taught me great organizational skills,” said Latron. “KIPP also prepared me for the workload of any situation. That really helped me to move forward in life, because I struggled with organization.”

Latron highlighted the efforts of Nicole P. Yeftich, Senior Manager of College Support at KIPP Baltimore.

“Ms. Yeftich knew about a scholarship that was only for KIPP students, and wanted me to apply for it.” recalled Latron, who produces and writes music and aspires to be an entertainer or manager. “She really helped me through the process. I really appreciate all of her efforts.”

He added, “I am also grateful to Kevin Hart and UNCF. Anyone who gives scholarships to people in need is appreciated.”

Yeftich, who noted that KIPP actively supports their students throughout their high school and college years, agreed with Latron.

“One of the biggest challenges we see on our College Placement Team, is the gap funding that is crucial,” she said. “Latron is one among many students incredibly capable. Unfortunately, the gap that exists between the cost of attending college, and what federal, state and universities are able to give, is enormous and prohibitive.”

She added, “The generous philanthropists like Kevin Hart who step in to create opportunities like this one are game-changers.”